Archaeologists can trace early man in Peoria as far back as 10,000 B.C. Artifacts and burial mounds yield evidence of a Native American civilization that was highly organized, ritualistic, and in harmony with nature. By 1650, the Illini Indians, a part of the Algonquin Nation, populated the area. The major tribes of the Illinois Confederacy were: Peoria, Kaskaskia, Michigamea, Cahokia, Tamaroa. Read , more at the Peoria Historical Society.
Prior to his arrival in Peoria in 1856, Cidney Pulsifer acquired a large undeveloped piece of real estate on the middle bluff bounded roughly by North Street, Knoxville Avenue, Columbia Terrace, and State Street. A large portion of this land lying along the brow and face of the bluff to the north of Main Street remained undeveloped. Named Pulsifer's Grove, this area was famed for its panoramic view of the city and of the bluff across the river, making it a popular location for picnics and other outings for many years.
Due to immense but unfortunate loans made to local distillers, the private banking firm of S. Pulsifer and Co. failed in June of 1877. Pulsifer's personal disaster proved advantageous to the city, however, in that it caused this previously undeveloped tract of land to be offered for sale. Bank depositors were able to purchase property that the bank owned at discounted rates, which opened this area of the middle bluff as a residential development.
During the 1940's, the Peoria area was suffering from a housing shortage, and many of the homes were converted into apartments. Today a tremendous amount of restoration has been done with reconversion of these homes into the gracious and elegant mansions that their original inhabitants enjoyed.
The Randolph-Roanoke Historic District was the first such district in Peoria. Randolph Street represents one of Peoria's finest collections of Victorians structures. The homes remain substantially unchanged from the time when they were originally constructed. The Randolph-Roanoke Historic District is one of the best symbols of Peoria's glorious past and a testament to confidence in Peoria's future.